Dennis Prager is intent on making children incurious and ignorant
Dennis Prager is intent on making children ignorant, incurious and stupid.

Yet again, transphobia melds with racism. It is a pattern.

Wednesday, Dennis Prager writes The Single Best Thing Americans Can Do to Retake America for Heritage Foundation’s blog.

Oddly enough Mr. Prager supported the prior occupant of the Oval Office; a grifter, a pathological liar, a serial adulterer, a sociopath and, … well, you get the idea. Prager did not think then that it was necessary to “retake America” while Trump lined his own pockets and destroyed every American institution for self-interests.

Quite the contrary. Dennis Prager was an enabler of possibly the most inept, corrupt and immoral president in the history of this nation.

Dennis Prager makes me want to convert to something other than Judaism. Then I remember that most of us (just like most Christians) are a great deal saner and more rational than Mr. Prager. We can take some comfort in that.

I write “some” because it doesn’t take a whole lot of religious fanatics to inflict misery on a whole lot more people. Their idiotic rhetoric can be very toxic. (Just two links at random.)

The “best thing” turns out to be:

The single best thing Americans can do to counter the left-wing attack on America—against its freedoms, its schools, its families, its children, its governmental institutions, its sports, its news and entertainment media, its medical establishment, the CIA, the FBI, the State Department, and the military—is to take their children out of America’s schools.

Wow. Prager sure has many enemies doing irreparable damage to a great many institutions. Some would say that Mr. Prager suffers from acute paranoia. Others would say that prager represents bats in the belfry (that’s a clinical term).

Regardless of Prager’s mental hygiene, I cannot figure out who is doing what do whom, how they are doing it, what the negative consequences are, how taking children out of public schools offers a remedy or even what Prager thinks needs to be remedied.

“Making our society and public policy fairer for Black people does not treat white people unfairly.”

Before I get to some of Dennis Prager’s kvetches, we can have an intellectually honest debate over some of the policies effected or promoted by President Biden. However, Biden is very honest, sober, moral and not trying to enrich himself at the expense of the citizenry.

The bottom line is that Joe Biden is doing what he thinks is best for the American people and not what he thinks is best for Joseph R. Biden. We can question what is best for the country but not the president’s honesty and integrity.

Yeah, I know. Some people think that morality is defined by abortion. Nothing else matters.

Some of the things that seem to matter to Dennis Prager:

They rarely teach them, for example, art or music because they are too busy teaching them race-centered hatred of whites, of America, and of America’s values. Sending your child(ren) to most American schools is playing Russian roulette with their values …

No one — no one — is teaching children “hatred of whites.” What children should and hopefully do learn is accurate history.

We were a slave nation. We cannot pretend otherwise.

Following the demise of slavery, Black people were the targets of selective law enforcement. The objective was to incarcerate as many Black people as possible for as long as possible. While imprisoned, they were used as slave labor for the state and for private enterprise where they were “rented” out by the state.

Then of course there was segregation. Black people were denied, in some locales — mostly the Bible Belt — the basic dignity and equality that they are entitled to.

“First of all, children are not taught that gender is a choice. The point is that gender is not a choice.” Religious schools teach that gender is a choice.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not end discrimination. It simply made it less obvious.

Today we still have selective enforcement. Black people are likely to face more prison time than white people who commit the identical crime.

Knowing the above cannot cause anyone to hate white people. Rather, we need to consider the extent to which white privilege exists and then what to do about it. Making our society and public policy fairer for Black people does not treat white people unfairly.

Prager’s transphobic bigotry causes him to mischaracterize gender identity:

In many elementary schools, your child is taught that gender is chosen and that there is no difference between boys and girls (in a growing number of schools, the teachers are told not to call their students “boys and girls”); they are taught about masturbation; and many children from first grade on attend “Drag Queen Story Hour,” wherein an obvious man wearing women’s clothing, garish makeup, and a wig entertains them.

The above is profoundly dishonest. First of all, children are not taught that gender is a choice. The point is that gender is not a choice. Religious schools might teach that gender is a choice in order to assert that transgender people are folks who made very bad choices.

Secondly, no child is taught that there is “no difference between boys and girls.” That is just dishonest rhetoric. Moreover, I am unaware of any school that instructs teachers not to call students “boys and girls.”

That brings me to Drag Queen Story Hour. Drag Queen Story Hour has absolutely nothing to do with public school education. Children attend these events with their parents (thus obviously with parental consent).

Dennis Prager does not approve. No one is forcing him to take his grandchildren to a Drag Queen Story Hour reading. The kids are smarter than Prager. They fully realize that drag queens are entertainers — just like RuPaul. The “garish makeup” that Prager refers to should provide him with a clue. It does not.

The right wing (religious right wing) hissy fit over Drag Queen Story Hour has never made a whit of sense. They seek to control what other parents do.

“Homeschooling makes as much sense as mom doing a home tonsillectomy. Teaching requires training and experience.”

Later on, another Prager delusion surfaces:

… millions—of Americans whose children have contempt for America, for free speech, and for their parents as a result of attending an American college or even high school. I meet such people at every speech I give, and I speak to them regularly on my radio show. Ask these parents, if they could redo their lives, whether they would keep their child in school.

Gee Dennis. People who attend your speeches tend to agree with you. Who’d a thunk? Where did “millions” come from?

Mr. Prager is oblivious to the fact that respect for diversity is very much an American value. Do we want our kids to be homophobic-transphobic-islamophobic-racists? Is that what they should be taught in service to ancient texts? Would that honor America? #Ugh!

After assuring us that most religious schools are also treasonous:

The only other option, then, is to homeschool one’s child. The problem is that many parents assume this is essentially impossible. For one thing, they assume that one of the parents would have to leave his or her work, which would mean a serious reduction in the family’s income. In addition, homeschooling strikes most people as simply too daunting a task, even if they could afford to take it on.

The real problem is that most parents are unqualified to homeschool their children. 10% of our population do not have a high school diploma or a GED. Only one-third of Americans have a baccalaureate. A minuscule percentage of the population have received any teacher training.

Homeschooling makes as much sense as mom doing a home tonsillectomy. Teaching requires training and experience. Moreover, homeschooling is likely to teach children that the world is not as it really is. The homeschool curriculum is going to be a lie.

LGBTQ people do exist and none of them are volunteers. We do have a serious history of racism in our country. Knowing that is not unpatriotic. It allows us to know the real difference between right and wrong. Hopefully, that history teaches us so that it will not be repeated. Elements of racism continue to exist.

What Prager is proposing is crappy parents creating the crappy parents of the future. The right way to handle this is to have a dialogue. If parents are incapable of doing so then they sure as hell are incapable of homeschooling their children. They will not encourage curiosity or critical thinking:

“What are some of the things that you learned in school today?”
[Item by item] “What do you think about that?”
“What is the alternative?”

“… how kids learn is as important as what they learn.

A parent is free to add: “According to our religion …”

Ultimately, how kids learn is as important as what they learn. But Prager is not done with the accusations:

But given the low intellectual state of most American schools, the damage they do to young children’s innocence, and the anti-American, anti-white, anti-Western indoctrination in most schools, if you are a parent of school-age children, what is your choice?

If you want “low intellectual state” just visit the Bible Belt. Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina have some of the worst-performing schools in the nation (measured by mathematics achievement).

A threat to “innocence” is code for the supposed danger that LGBTQ people pose to children. “anti-American, anti-white, anti-Western indoctrination” means truthful instruction.

In the 20th century, the United States engineered a number of coups d’etat. We are still paying the price for some of our errors. Iran might be more rational today had we not installed the Shah and then enabled some of his many human rights abuses.

In Chile we were directly responsible for the military coupe that overthrew the democratically elected Salvador Allende. Allende was succeeded by Augusto Pinochet, a military dictator who ruled for 17 years. Pinochet was responsible for the deaths of 3,200 political opponents and the torture of an additional roughly 30,000.

How about Vietnam?

“Take away Prager’s radio mic and he is just one more blowhard.”

Covering these issues is not unpatriotic. Every kid in Germany understands the Holocaust. Historical accuracy does not mean that we are not a great nation. All nations make mistakes. Teaching accurate history is beneficial.

The key, in my opinion, is to carefully separate facts from the teacher’s opinions and to learn the difference between the two. I seriously doubt that that will occur in homeschooling.

Later on:

Angry young people. Why wouldn’t they be? First, they graduate college with a huge load of debt, having received almost nothing useful for their money. Second, if they are anything other than a white heterosexual Christian male, they have been taught to regard themselves as victims of oppression. Third, their future is so bleak they may not even have one: They are threatened with extinction by climate change.

Regarding the passage I highlighted, no one teaches victimhood as well as religious conservatives. Prager had to get his climate change bullshit into the mix. I guess that is yet another thing that we are supposed to pretend does not really exist.

Furthermore, none of the above paragraph has anything whatsoever to do with homeschooling. I suppose he is saying that homeschooling will make people better in the future. What prager is really saying is that it is important to hide certain truths from children.

In part, Prager is referring to his own experience. He attempted to acquire a graduate degree from Columbia University. Prager dropped out before completing his program. Perhaps he concluded that he wasn’t learning anything. And who would be at fault for that?

When it comes to Dennis Prager is important to remember that Prager is principally an entertainer. Take away Prager’s radio mic and he is just one more blowhard. We have plenty of those. They bitch but they do nothing constructive.

They thrive by manufacturing controversies. The are dependent upon the “us vs. them” worldview. That, in turn, makes people dependent upon the likes of Mr. Prager because, in their mind, Prager represents the “us” in “us vs. them.” People yearn to be the “us.”

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.